John Adams described the scene to his wife, Abigail:
“When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with Prayer.
It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York, and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists, that we could not join in the same act of worship.
Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said that he was no bigot, and could hear a Prayer from any gentleman of Piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his Country.
He was a stranger in Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche’ (Pastor of Christ Episcopal Church, Philadelphia), deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche’, an Episcopal clergyman might be desired to read Prayers to Congress tomorrow morning.
The motion was seconded, and passed in the affirmative.”